Background: Recent interest in human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated cancers and the availability of several years of data covering 83% of the US population prompted this descriptive assessment of cervical cancer incidence and mortality in the US during the years 1998 through 2003. This article provides a baseline for monitoring the impact of the HPV vaccine on the burden of cervical cancer over time.
Methods: Data from 2 federal cancer surveillance programs, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s National Program of Cancer Registries and the National Cancer Institiute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program, were used to examine cervical cancer incidence by race, Hispanic ethnicity, histology, stage, and US census region. Data from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics were used to examine cervical cancer mortality by race, Hispanic ethnicity, and US census region.
Results: The incidence rate of invasive cervical cancer was 8.9 per 100,000 women during 1998 through 2003. Greater than 70% of all cervical carcinomas were squamous cell type, and nearly 20% were adenocarcinomas. Cervical carcinoma incidence rates were increased for black women compared with white women and for Hispanic women compared with non-Hispanic women. Hispanic women had increased rates of adenocarcinomas compared with non-Hispanic women. The South had increased incidence and mortality rates compared with the Northeast.
Conclusions: Disparities by race/ethnicity and region persist in the burden of cervical cancer in the US. Comprehensive screening and vaccination programs, as well as improved surveillance, will be essential if this burden is to be reduced in the future.